2005-07-19

Dealing with the Backblog

Our muse hasn't posted since she's gone off on what even she thinks will be an ill-starred roadtrip to La Belle Province, (Note to ad hoc legal symposium: That's definitely 'la belle', not 'libel'). So, in these hot, humid dog days, it's time for the mutt to riff his trademark stream-of-coyoteness over impressions gained from the archives. Sorta like a domestic dog with a fire hydrant.

I refer not precisely to the never-eMding story of the semi-dysfunctional relationship with her semi-ex-squeeze, from which much of her last year's bloggage is pressed like Ontario wine, but rather to its emotional underpinnings...

She's discussed it ad nauseaum (We coyotes often dabble in dead languages...) and so have we. But she's stickin' to him like a burr. So let's hit another angle. The question becomes, "What's her payoff?"

By that I mean that she's got to be answering a deep need , or she wouldn't continue with the relationship. I define 'payoff' here in a slightly unorthodox way: it may as easily be negative as positive. In this case, as entire pantheons of several religious systems by now must suspect, it probably is negative. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through merely to have something to blog, but hey, we in the meta-biz are scarcely innocent on that count either. Still, she has some kind of intensely wierd tie to this particular relationship, after having walked many of her emotional retinue down the plank (a tip of the tricorn to 4th Dwarf for that apt image...) in the past year.

But she's gettin' some kinda payoff. Our highly scientific poll shows it's not exactly love. What is it?

14 comments:

casual-legal-confidante said...

EXACTLY, my brilliant coyote! Of course there's a pay-off. No one does anything without a reason.

First, before dealing with the meat of the issue (hey, I threw that one in just for you, you carnivore, you) allow me to say that libel, as opposed to La Belle, is a whole different thing. Sounds similar, but it's not. La Belle, for one, is full of people who like to eat, drink (their own wine in restaurants, how Bohemian!) and smoke themselves silly. Just look at the cancer rates, for goodness sake. Libel, on the other hand, while almost as much fun, is hardly as congenial. You must admit.

But second, and more to the point, what is the PAYOFF? Here's the thing: she wants sex. Hot and steamy, so she says. M won't deliver, for whatever reason. Not only does she stick around without the sex, but she goes ON and ON and ON, about WHY?

I say,who cares why? Either he's gay or he doesn't want 5M. Who cares why? End result: no sex. The real question remains -- why does 5M continue to hang around in these conditions?

And that's where the answer to the payoff question becomes clear. It's not the sex she really wants, or needs. It's just the companionship. I've known people who are so desperate to NOT BE ALONE that they cling to any old relationship, whether it's completely dysfuntional, or not. This is what 5M may be doing, and the payoff is not having to spend weekends alone in the overheated apartment.

What the heck, what could be worse than being alone, especially when that may actually give you a lot of time to think about your situation, AND the reasons it exists.

And third, of course, there is no third...

6th Apostle said...

I, too, have asked the same question of our muse. What is it that keeps her chasing this fellow? Even by her own admission, she talks about the mediocrity of it all. Maybe we haven’t given M enough credit for the circumstance. One thing about M is that he doesn’t seem to desire to push to any sort of closure regarding his relationship with the 5M. It is interesting to note, unless someone can show otherwise, I have not found any example of M being a big agent of change. I believe one of us referred to it as certain inertia in their relationship. It doesn’t change because neither side has done anything to initiate the change. When 5M pronounced to the blog world that she ended it, they were sharing lattes without skipping a beat.

When 5M was dissatisfied with C, she really didn’t end it. It was up to C to pull the pin on that relationship, but 5M contributed as much to the compatibility problem, what with her obsession about what was going on in M’s life while dating C. I’m not defending C in this, but rather that this provides a good example of how, even when 5M is unhappy, it takes the other party to initiate the change.

Reading the 5M archive, one soon sees a Sisyphean pattern to her tribulations. As for payoff, who knows what streams of 5M’s internal sense of justice or logic are at play. I have hinted of a certain martyrdom quality about her before, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Is it simply the trappings of inertia and nothing more?

There is the other angle that we are, of course, only privy to what 5M is telling us. In my days of youth, I too, kept a journal of my thoughts for a period of about a year. After reading through it before retiring it to the archives I realized that all the self-analysis and introspection I had done in the past year had not really addressed the big issues of my life. What was of true importance was scarce to be found in any words therein. Perhaps, with the 5M we are getting the same thing. Confession is only good for the soul if it is indeed a true confession.

Some Sort of Legal Type said...

Dear 6A: bravo for the Sisyphean reference. I was beginning to wonder when someone whould mention the obvious connection.
A diary? From your youth? Wither goest it? I'd like to post my vote, right here and now, for you, dear fellow, to confide its contents to us, your closest confidents. C'mon, out with it.

6th Apostle said...

Sadly, my journal would only offer but a fraction of the ribaldry so desired by the ESI readership, even though I was travelling with the likes of Mary Magdelan.

coyote said...

Not ribald enough? Then I suggest you dump the Old Testament and get more Chaucerian. Although the Song of Solomon has certain points.....

6th Apostle said...

Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

Yes, that Solomon knew how to blog in his day. He makes that one you refer to -- the lower case poet -- read like Ecclesiastes (yawn)

Agent A (CRTF) said...

CRTF Warning -- disclosure of 6A's private diaries would warrant a citation for Self-Referential Wanking (SRW).

An outcome we would all like to avoid.

someone with sort-of-a-legal outlook said...

Tee hee hee hee hee!!!!! Ha ha ha giggle, snort, etc.
I have to warn you, 6A, whenever our paths cross in future, that quote will be uppermost in my mind! "...roes that are twins." HA HA HA, tee, hee, hee, hee... (But I DO SO agree with the yawn quotient on the Ecclesiastes reference...)

Agatha said...

At first, I took 'roe' to mean fish roe, and got a slightly warped boob image...
I am out of words this evening, but I feel that Jack Handy best expresses what I want to say in response to Coyote's latest 5M inquiries:

I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.
- Jack Handy Deep Thoughts

coyote said...

I don't know Jack. But I like him.

4th Dwarf said...

I was reminded about some of the theories around perfectionist behaviour recently and it brings 5M to mind.

She shows aspects of it in the agony she seems to put into writing her dissertation chapters and everything would indicate that she wants the "perfect" relationship.

Perfectionists are prone to procrastination. Sometimes because they need the exactly right conditions to take the next step, other times because the fear of not achieving perfection overwhelms them.

Perfectionists also will create situations where they cannot be expected to succeed so that they can blame their failures on the situation. For example, getting a B instead of an A on a paper because they wound up with only one night to write the paper.

Maybe these are factors in 5M's relationship with M. Procrastination preventing her from moving on. M is such a difficult man, you can't blame her for the relationship not working.

Agatha said...

In case any of you were wondering where our former Chair is hanging out: the Chair's spot.

The Independent Rick Mercer Observer said...

Summer is here and our thoughts turn, of course, to the 5M. Ah yes, the 5M. Last time we checked in, our young heroine had adopted four fuzzy kittens. Cute, definitely. But about as much fun as a picnic on an airport runway. Lots of whining, constant demands and messy scenes. And that's all coming from M. The felines are practically angels in comparison. But now the kitties are gone. And, look, M is still the cat's meow. He and the 5M are off to Quebec City this week. A romantic getaway? A little camping trip? No, siree. They're spending time at the house M once bought to share with his former flame, the gal from Trois-Rivieres. So why is he bringing the 5M there? So she can help paint the place, of course. My advice to the nice girl muddling along in the capital: keep the kittens, ditch M. Because that cat's not about to change his spots.

Conch Shell said...

Okay, IO, but you see, she can't ditch M. It's impossible for her.
I decided this warranted a google search: "unable to leave a dysfunctional relationship."
First hit:

Many people hope that once they leave home, they will leave their family and childhood problems behind. However, many find that they experience similar problems, as well as similar feelings and relationship patterns, long after they have left the family environment. Ideally, children grow up in family environments which help them feel worthwhile and valuable. They learn that their feelings and needs are important and can be expressed. Children growing up in such supportive environments are likely to form healthy, open relationships in adulthood.
(truncated here . . .if they grew up in a poor family environment . . )they may form unsatisfying relationships as adults.

OKAY. So, how can 5M break this pattern of unhappiness given her magnetic attraction to M? I think she needs to spend a bit of time in North Bay, tending to her roots, and making amends with the father she doesn't speak to and the sister she's dumped:

Making Changes
Sometimes we continue in our roles because we are waiting for our parents to give us "permission"; to change. But that permission can come only from you. Like most people, parents in dysfunctional families often feel threatened by changes in their children. As a result, they may thwart your efforts to change and insist that you "change back." That's why it's so important for you to trust your own perceptions and feelings. Change begins with you. Some specific things you can do include:

Make a list of your behaviors, beliefs, etc. that you would like to change.
Next to each item on the list, write down the behavior, belief, etc. that you would like to do/have instead.
Pick one item on your list and begin practicing the alternate behavior or belief. Choose the easiest item first.
Once you are able to do the alternate behavior more often than the original, pick another item on the list and practice changing it, too."

I wonder, perhaps we should make the list for her.